Sunday, June 4, 2017

It was his first day at day care


and it seemed like it would never end!


When my son was little..I mean littler, my husband and I would joke about never letting him go out of sight and getting him home-schooled so that I could always be near him. How naive of us.

I am not working at the moment and have the entire day to cater to my little one's needs. We spend all our days in each other's company, merrily and whole-heartedly. But I realized that my now 2 year old little guy needs more than just his mommy. He needs his own circle of friends. Well, apparently toddlers have their own social circle chemistry. Where they babble, baby-talk, laugh, cry and simply have a ball.

Sooo, off we went and enrolled him into a lovely place where all beautiful, 2 to 3 years old balls of fun can rock and roll themselves.
I couldn't sleep the entire night before his first day. Though I knew he would be OK there, it was myself I was quite nervous about. You see, it was not just his first day, it was mine too! Since the day he arrived in my arms from my belly, we haven't been separated for more than a loo-break! And now, he would be there for hours and my heart would either burst with all the nervous thumping or my eyes would swim out of my socket with all those tears. No, I am not being over dramatic. Yes, I know all kids go through this phase. But hey, I am an over emotional mess at the moment.

I cried some happy tears while I sat labeling his belongings with his name, realizing my boy will soon have stories to tell. Double checked everything he needed for the morning and then checked it again. Didn't ease me up on the nervous sighing.

The morning arrives and this boy happily runs to the room full of toys and new things at the day care. I ask him just for the sake of my melting heart - "Do you want mummy to stay, baby?" . "No , No mummy !" . Huh. So much for the bleeding heart *eye-roll* . Toddlers!
But I stayed. Silently observing him from the next room where he couldn't see me, watching him meet new people, new human beings at the eye level and explore his surroundings.

An hour gone and he realized I am not there anymore. He went over to the window overlooking the parking lot and kept asking for his mummy. He cried. Oh Gosh..and I cried! Tears just kept rolling down, knowing I couldn't rush and hold him (for their own good they tell me). One fire truck later, he was okay again and chirping with his new buddies. But now, my trigger was blown. I was drifting towards being that mom who suffers the worse end of separation anxiety. He cried again WHILE playing with his fire engine, which is like his most favorite of all toys, and it occurred to me that may be he feels I have deserted him. May be he thinks mummy is angry and gone! All I wanted to do was to hold him and tell him I am right here. I didn't. It felt terrible and I was already considering myself for the bad mom of the year award. How could I leave my little boy all by himself? How could I watch him cry? How mean of me!

Thankfully, the staff at his daycare is pretty good with toddlers, especially with those on their first days. They would distract him, read him a book, have a game of tag and he would be fine. I thought I was waiting too much to comfort him and should just go in and get him. But then came the snack time. And I saw something amazing. He sat at a table with 5 other mini-humans and actually ate his snack happily while enjoying his time at the table. He NEVER sits still at home. Watching 6 little heads around a table like a board meeting, discussing what  a cantaloupe tastes like, was so incredible. That sight was all I needed to know that I was doing the right thing. He is on his way to build his own social circle. One that doesn't involve me.  And you know what, I cried again. We moms are a volcano of emotions really.

So this crying and happy moments went on for some time and I stood there watching and living everything. Five hours. And they felt like eternity! When I went over to pick him up, he came running to me with little arms outstretched as wide as they could be and all was well in the world again! 
First thing I said to him was - "I was right here all the time ! I will never leave you alone !"
May not always be literally true but that doesn't make it a lie either. 

I know it gets better with time, but the second day comes this week and I am dreading it so very much. I suppose its much more difficult for me than him. And I thought separation anxiety was a phase in toddlers. No one warned me about how it rips apart a mom's heart.

Hopefully, I would do better this time and not cry out a swimming pool. 
Be still my heart - The Battle Has Just Begun.





This Mother's Day



I sat down today to write about who has inspired me as a mom. And I cannot decide on one single person. 

Some would say your mother is a good example to start with. But I like to think that rather than inspiring me as a mum, she taught me more as a human being. She has never needed to do anything 'inspiring' because every single thing she does or did, be it difficult decision making or watching TV, has been inculcated in me naturally. And it goes without saying, we all look up to our parents for lessons and so do I.

Inspiration can come from unexpected places. Be it a stranger or an ordinary person you have known forever, you may be surprised with a deed or thought that stays with you for life and somehow becomes a mantra to follow. 


There is an incident I would like to share. I had taken my new car to work that day and came back home with a dent. Although it was pretty minor and not really visible, I was heart broken being it my first day with my new car. I called home and my mum-in-law came down to the parking when I reached there.
She said, " To kya hua? Atleast you are okay. Chalo shagun ho gaya. Jab tak nayi cheez, sofa ho ya car, scratch na lage tab tak uski tension hi hoti rehti hai. Achcha hai ab nazar nahi lagegi." I said that I won't drive anymore. She calmly replied, " Galti ho jaaye to us se daro mat. Usko  sudharo aur aage badho. Aise hi to seekhte hain." She wouldn't let me be upset at all about that dent. Mind you, my mum-in-law is a brilliant driver and has never been in any sort of accident.
Now this may seem like an ordinary incident but her reaction to the entire episode was absolutely different to how my own mum would have been (my mum would have taken away the car keys from me forever :D ) and her simple words were all I needed to recover. Not only did I learn to not dwell on petty mistakes, but she also showed me how important compassion can be for someone in a difficult situation.
It definitely made a permanent change to my otherwise panicky-snappy-attitude, and now before I freak out at the 'spoiled milk' I always take a moment to re-frame my words.

Before I myself became a mom, I once met a lady my age, married, earning well-off and a regular student at the hip-hop classes I went to. Not only was she an amazing dancer, fit and intelligent but she also had a son who was 2 yr old at that time. I was awed by her personality and how happily she was doing it all. We never spoke as much but she inspired me incredibly without even trying to. I was motivated to put more effort into whatever I chose to do and at the same time enjoy doing it too.

Fast forward 5 years and now I am a mum of a 2 year old.  Since being pregnant, I had found huge respect in myself for all pregnant ladies and have always considered women with more than one kid as super-human beings. There have been so many people during this time who have inspired me in more than one way. Sometimes, they were total strangers. A person doesn't need a hard heart-breaking backstory to be inspirational. A cheerful happy life-story is just as inspiring as a growth story of hard times to a successful today.  I have been actively involved with social media over the past year and have come through some incredible women. Their stories are a mix of happy and heart-breaking but one thing is common in all. They are all strong and persevering women. They are doing all they can to set an example for their kids and I sometimes also see their kids following their tread. No matter how many falls, I have seen them get up and go again. They are fueled by the desire to not just live up to their children's expectations but also to their own. 

A prime example of how other mums have inspired me would be my own food blog. My Dad actually laughed when I told him I do a blog on food. Yep. Me and kitchen was a rarity even after marriage. And now, I have my own food forum with new posts every day! How did that happen! Coz one evening last year, I was bored of making khichdi for my little guy and decided to look up on Instagram for something. Who knew there were a million moms with a billion recipes ! I was fascinated. How much effort, patience , creativity and most importantly - love, went into those posts. It made me want to make a presentable meal for my little fellow. It made me want to give it a try. And soon, I was hooked. I still get my low days, but there is so much motivation being passed around for anyone who needs it. All I gotta do is reach.

There is absolutely no doubt that WOMEN are INCREDIBLE
But MOMs are 'Women with Superpowers'. There is almost nothing they can't or won't do for their family. And they don't cease to inspire. Not just other moms but anyone!

If "Inspiration" ever needed a word replacement, there wouldn't be a better fit than "Mom" .

Monday, May 1, 2017

Motherhood - A Pandora's Box


💕 Motherhood is yesterday's clothing, messy hair and 2 min showers.

💕 Motherhood is yoga pants, v-neck tees and tiny soiled hand prints all over.

💕 Motherhood is a sink full of dishes and a house full of laughter.

💕 Motherhood is realizing laundry is like weed - never stops growing and is frigging everywhere.

💕 Motherhood is a living room looking like a toy-tanic cyclone just hit.

💕 Motherhood is 3AM wake ups and 11PM bedtimes.

💕 Motherhood is loving a coffee reheated atleast 10 times.

💕 Motherhood is surviving on baby-food left overs and stolen scoops of ice-cream tubs.

💕 Motherhood is cooking, cleaning, feeding, washing, tidying and answering the phone/door. All at the same time.

💕 Motherhood is discovering a hidden Lego in the boots AFTER putting them on and taking a careless step. Ouch!

💕 Motherhood is hiding behind a closet door to munch on a chocolate, and pretending how disgusting it tastes when caught red-handed.

💕 Motherhood is the art of tidying the same place a 100 times a day and still failing.

💕 Motherhood is when cooking together in the kitchen and a sharing a glass of wine with your man becomes the definition of an ideal date.

💕 Motherhood is gummy bear bribes and chocolate cake for dinners.

💕 Motherhood is letting the dog clean up the floor.

💕 Motherhood is a messy house, unmade beds and happy hearts.

💕 Motherhood is bruised knees and magical kisses.

💗 Motherhood is promising one is enough..then having two more - Cookies, chocolate, glass of wine, KIDS.

💕 Motherhood is the fear of silence when in the bathroom.

💕 Motherhood is when a trip to the bathroom becomes your me-time.

💕 Motherhood is going from 'Yuck!' to 'Here, wipe it on my shirt.' .

💕 Motherhood is being on-call 24/7 - no pay and no day-offs.

💕 Motherhood is having the whole world in your arms when those little arms hold you tight.

💕 Motherhood is exhausting and refreshing.

💕 Motherhood is the hardest and the happiest hood ever.

💕 Motherhood is loving so much..it hurts.

💕 Motherhood is being loved so much..it hurts.

💗 Motherhood heals.

💕 Motherhood is changing not a thing and doing it all over again..happily!





Thursday, February 16, 2017

Mommies get the best breaks. JUST KIDDING!!


Lately, I have been doing a lot of reading at every opportunity I get. By opportunity I mean sneaking to the bathroom with an iPad under my shirt. I have discovered that ALL women are workaholics..and hence, are exhausted, running on fumes and still giving it their all (whatever 'it' may be). When I say workaholics, I don't mean any employment. I refer to simply being occupied in one task or the other be it the job, home, family, etc.

I realize I am one of them too.

When my baby was born, everyone told me it will get easier in 6 months. Those sly foxes!
It never gets easier! It may seem hard and a 24 x 7 on-call duty when your little one is born but let me tell you - this is the most free and relaxed you ever will be from now. Once they start crawling...a whole new definition arrives at household chaos. All your senses will work full time and that is when you may achieve your peak potential of multitasking and not even realize it!
Since I brought this beautiful little person in this world, I have always been on the go. From 3AM wake-ups to 11PM bedtime refusals, from making breakfast for a tiny tummy to checking the diaper a 100 times a day, from tidying the house to re-tidying it again..and I always wonder where the day went! I have noticed (so has my family :D) that I continue like this for at most a couple of weeks and then my bubble bursts and I go from being 'Mary Poppins' to 'Cruella de Vil'  and all hell breaks lose.

It is bound to happen because I push myself too much. I admit it. The excuse is always 'it will take 2 mins to do' for mostly everything. The result is a super tired, cranky, nagging, no-good human being who has all her meal times mixed up and still won't be sleeping a whole night because of a wakey-wakey baby.

One thing that works wonders and is a definite solution to such emotional build-ups is taking a break. Now that's simple. Everyone takes a break, pauses down the rush-hour-life. There are a hundred different ways I can "break" myself free. How hard can it be?? Turns out - VERY.

No one in my family is against time-offs. Infact I have an absolutely wonderful husband who is always encouraging me to take some time for myself. But here's the thing - A mother is the 'Google' of the family. And "if it's something weird or not at all...Who you gonna call?!". Yup.
Husbands are hardwired to never ask for directions when outside the house and ALWAYS ask the whereabouts of something that is right in front of their face. Plus they have a certain ability to never keep anything where it was before use.
The toddler wouldn't even look at you when you are around him but the moment you step out of the room, mommy-radar starts beeping at the top of his voice.
Want the attention of the whole family? Just sit down, look comfy and reach for the TV remote. Within seconds, the baby materializes jumping on your lap, husband comes over asking for his wallet which is right on the table in front of him but is somehow invisible until pointed at and everyone is suddenly hungry!
And if by some miracle, none of this happens, it'll be my own used-to-multitasking self that will contemplate a hundred ways things might go wrong if I wasn't there. Like what if the baby cries and daddy can't soothe him, what if the stove is left on, what will they eat, what if the baby refuses to eat, what if he eats a Lego!, and the list is endless. I might sneak a few glances of my phone every minute to ensure there is no "what if" emergency and be suspicious if nothing comes up too! You see, I have gotten so used to worrying and doing things on my own AND MY WAY that a break (at times) brings on a guilt and an urge to rush back and assume the role.

I strongly recommend - Don't. Don't rush
It is tempting to just carry on hustling everyday because "I will do it in a few minutes" but it is also exhausting. Remember that when we are our nagger self, the most we complain about is not getting a few minutes to ourselves. Remember the airplane rule - Put the oxygen mask on yourself first before helping others. Only when the roots are watered, the tree would blossom.
So, take a break.

Now I don't mean go all revolutionary, ditch the chores and don't let anyone disturb you. I mean take a break from the urge of doing everything by yourself. Don't let the "it's my way or the highway" control you. Let the house be messed up today and the beds unmade.Take 5 mins longer in that shower. Of-course, there won't be any stopping the baby banging the bathroom door or the hubby asking every minute when will you come out. Take a break from coming up with a response. Order-in the dinner or let your husband show his culinary skills. Try not to chalk out a list of instructions (we do that, it's a women thing :D). And if you have one of those can't-cook-if-the-world-was-ending husbands, make him a khichdi. Resist the tadka. Spend a minute longer in front of the mirror, dress up, doll up and go out. Take a walk or hang out with your girlfriends. Choose to let any negative vibe bounce off you today. Keep that frown in check. A break doesn't have to be 5 mins, an hour, a day or a week long. Just long enough to rejuvenate and revitalize whatever makes you YOU. Just a time off from reacting to everything that happens around you, a time for just thinking about your favorite things, a time to just let everything be.

I say this like I do all of it. Of course not- as much as I'd like to, it is in no way easy. I may pull one or at most two of the above said in one day and I feel good!  If you are anything like me, a break would look like sporting my most comfy pajamas (practically my fashion statement for the past year), being couch-installed and trying to get past the prologue of a book I have been trying to read for the past 2 months. If I get past 15 mins of this without the toddler snatching the said book and ripping it apart, or throwing the remote in my face or his daddy asking (for the 10th time) where is the coffee mug that he bought and kept on the top shelf *eye roll* ...I will gladly, and somewhat suspiciously, consider it a break.

And while I try my luck at this, I am aware soon my little one would be a preschooler and his dad busy at work and my afternoons might be a bit too quiet for my liking. We mommies are a weird specimen of contradictory human emotions :D

PS.- Don't ever confuse a family vacation with a break. I did. Big Mistake. :D

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Dinosaur Drink - For your little Picky Eater

There are lots of chores and tasks we do everyday for our family, but as a mother, I feel the most rewarding is when a meal is successful with your kids. And I know it's not as often as we would like !

It takes quite a maneuver to get a picky toddler to eat without fussing and sometimes even the bribes don't work. It is exhausting, time consuming and also, discouraging when a lovely meal prepared with loads of love goes uneaten or frowned at. Now, we may blame the kids (because of-course whatever we make is for their health and growth and is also yummy !) but they are evolving and so are their taste buds. They may sometimes surprise you completely by loving something you assumed they would never eat in a million years.

My almost two-year old little guy has been a hard work when it comes to food. He had only four teeth at about 15 months so there was not much chewy food he could eat and a long way down the road he only preferred soft, mushy meals. Quite a hard work and limited choices.On top of it he wouldn't drink milk as is. It was during this time I introduced him to the world of smoothies and he has not looked back since !
Smoothies are a super delicious, full of health, easy blend of fruits and vegetables which packs all the goodness in one drink. There are many choices of flavor to play around with and not a lot of effort ! Whats more - they are the easiest way to get your kids to like the greens and there is absolutely no added sugar required !

Here, I am sharing a basic smoothie which is ALWAYS a hit with my little one. I call it the 'Dinosaur Drink' :-)
Dinosaur Drink -
1 Cup of fresh baby spinach (raw)
Half of a big banana
A couple of strawberries
Half cup of yogurt ( you can use flavored yogurt of your choice)

That's it ! Just blend it in a mixture and pour it in a glass. Do not strain it. It will be smooth and sweet without any added sugar. You can serve it in a glass, or pour it in a bowl and top it with sliced bananas, strawberries or any sliced dry fruit of your choice ! As for me, I sprinkle the smoothies with chia seeds.

There are a lot of other ways you can tweak the above with what's available with you. For example -

A cup of fresh spinach (raw)
A slice of mango
Half a kiwi
Half cup of coconut water
One banana
A little squeeze of lemon
Blend and ready !

Another one is -
The Very Berry Blend :-)
A banana
Handful each of blueberries, strawberries and blackberries
Half a cup of yogurt
2TBSP coconut water
Blend and yummy !!


Basically, spinach goes very well in all smoothies and you can flavor the drink with fruits at hand like kiwis, bananas, berries , apples , mangoes and use coconut water, yogurt, almond milk and any healthy flavor substitute your kid likes. Top them with sliced almonds, cashews, chia seeds, tutti fruities or just grate a little chocolate on top!

I make a glass of smoothie as a mid-morning snack or a post-nap energiser and hand it to my toddler while he is watching TV or playing or simple running around. He loves it and with each sip growls to show me how 'powerful' he is getting with the dinosaur drink :D
It was and continues to be a big hit with my toddler and also the rest of the family. And so, I wanted to share it with all you lovely people. It does take a lot of stress away to know your baby has had a good potion of veggies and fruits in one drink and makes all that food-fussiness a bit more tolerable.
Hope you guys try these and your little one (and you !) enjoy them too !

Author Note : Please do leave your feedback and experience in the comments below. I blog my baby's meals most of the time to keep a track of his eating habits and also to learn and help other mammas with different ideas to will their little picky eaters into eating! Do follow my page and you can visit my profile for the further details. Thank you.